On the long and winding road that has been the Buffalo Bills' coaching search, the strange journey may be coming to an unexpected and rapid close.
Mark Gaughan at The Buffalo News is reporting that former Dallas and Georgia Tech head coach Chan Gailey is emerging as a "strong candidate" for the Bills' vacant head coaching job. FOXSports.com's Jay Glazer is corroborating the report, indicating that barring a break-down in talks between Gailey, owner Ralph Wilson and GM Buddy Nix, Gailey is expected to become Buffalo's next head coach within the next couple of days.
Gailey was fired as the offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs on August 31, 2009, a move that was inevitable from the moment Scott Pioli named Todd Haley his new head coach roughly a year ago.
It's been said all along that Buffalo favored a candidate with previous head coaching experience and a proven track record coaching offensive football. Gailey, 57, fits both criteria.
Gailey has been around the coaching block, holding two separate head coaching jobs as well as several coordinator gigs at the professional level. When Bill Cowher left the Pittsburgh Steelers, it was Gailey - not Ken Whisenhunt or Russ Grimm - that he recommended as his successor.
I'm hesitant to talk about Gailey as Buffalo's next head coach being a foregone conclusion, but this report is so left-field that it feels incredibly legitimate. For a team that has struck out on even interviewing several assistants league-wide, the team could certainly do worse than Gailey, even if his hire wouldn't spark much excitement about the team's 2010 prospects.
Gaughan's report, by the way, also indicates that Leslie Frazier will not be Buffalo's next head coach.